On May 18, my brother and I were fishing near the rocks at north Douglas. The tide was high and the boat traffic was light-to-medium as the fishing was slow. We had caught a nice king salmon on the morning low tide and decided to fish the high tide, too.
Sound off on the important issues at
After several trolling passes into the cove, I had a tremendous hit on my line. This was not the usual "take home to the smokehouse or freezer" hit. My reel screamed as this fish pulled off about a 100 yards of line.
As I was fighting the fish, the charter boat Sophia K approached and was close enough that we did not have to shout to communicate. There were other boats watching, and fishermen on the shore were watching as we battled this king salmon. Certainly many people heard my reel as it worked to slow this giant.
The Sophia K could clearly see us fighting a fish, and we told them, "Don't run over our line." The charter boat did not change course and seemed to ignore our pleas.
I saw the salmon when it surfaced and jumped on the far side of the charter boat. The guy in the blue canoe who saw all the action said it was a very large fish.
There are unwritten rules when fishing, such as: When a boat or person has a fish on, get away or stay away. You don't pass too close to the rocks where shore fishermen are casting. You take your turn at the launch ramp and make room for the next guy in line. You don't troll too near the stern of a boat with all their fishing gear out, and so on.
Unwritten rules? How about common sense, respect or just plain courtesy? Sure, you have paying clients on board, but everyone on my boat was paying, too. Fuel, bait, tackle, licenses, food, parts, housing, taxes - the list is very long.
This was the fish that one may spend years trying to catch. I write this letter out of frustration and hope that others will read this and remember courtesy and common sense when out on the fishing grounds.
Oh yes, despite our yelling and arm waving, the charter boat ran over and cut our line. We sat in silence, too stunned to go cuss out the skipper.
Juneau Empire ©2014. All Rights Reserved.